Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wage Jobs Up Very Slightly in September

Pre-recession, three years ago or so, about 63% of New Mexicans were participating in the labor forces, that is, working or looking for work, says the Department of Workforce Services in the monthly job report released today. Had that rate maintained, the state’s unemployment would have continued to increase through September, the latest month covered in the DWS report. But it didn’t, people dropped from the labor force, which explains the unemployment being 6.6% for September and down two points in the past year.

New Mexico added 1,700 wage jobs year-over-year for a rocking 0.2% growth rate. Still, DWS says, September was the fourth month of job growth after 32 months of losses. There were 1,800 new jobs from August to September.

Among the sectors, professional and business services remains the loss leader, down statewide 7,400 for the September to September year and 1,600 for the month.

Retail surprised me with a 4,000 job, or 4.5%, year-over-year increase. The surprise comes because retailers can increase employment, especially via part time people, fairly quickly in response to increasing sales and expectation of further sales growth. Retailers cut just as quickly. Retail responds, one way or the other, to other sectors. The Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe metro areas all showed more retailer jobs. DWS
doesn’t report Farmington’s sector numbers.

Year-over-year the four metro areas lost 1,300 jobs, led by Albuquerque, which was down 2,200. The year-over-year arithmetic means rural areas added 3,000 jobs.
Farmington was the only metro area with job growth for the year and from August to September.

Albuquerque lost 2,700 construction jobs over the year meaning that the rest of the metro added 500 jobs.

The four metros added 2,700 jobs from August to September. Even Albuquerque found 1,700 net new jobs in the face of 900 more jobs lost in construction.
Only two counties—Luna and Mora—have more than ten percent unemployment. A year ago the ten percent count was six.

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